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Bitcoin makes its way into Indian market

Bitcoin awareness has been gradually rising in India as online e-commerce merchants and small businesses have started to comprehend the benefits of bitcoin.

India, with an internet user base of nearly 243.2 million people, e-commerce industry worth $12.6 billion USD and remittance market worth more than $50 billion USD, has the potential to become one of the largest bitcoin markets in the world. However, much of India's population is underbanked and do not have access to basic financial services.

Local bitcoin exchanges such as UnoCoin and BTCXIndia, together with tech giants such as Microsoft and IBM are helping many entrepreneurs and businesses to turn to the digital currency and understand its benefits.

Unocoin has launched a bitcoin merchant processing platform that will facilitate the acceptance of bitcoin on e-commerce sites. It has also collaborated with eTravelSmart, an online bus ticket booking portal, in order to enable bus tickets purchases with bitcoin.

"The Bitcoin community in India is maturing, and people started understanding it now," an eTravelTeam spokesperson told Bitcoin Magazine. "I see many bitcoin meetups happening in India. Now we are doing sales around five transactions, worth less than one bitcoin per month. We expect the sales to double month on month in coming days."

Among other initiatives, "HackCoin Mumbai", a bitcoin-based hackathon that was sponsored by Microsoft, IBM and Citruspay, saw participation of over hundred developers who were seeking to develop blockchain-based applications for payments, big data and digital experience.

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